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Old 10-27-2012, 01:36 AM   #1
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Default I'm making a melomel, how much fruit?

I have a gallon of plain old mead that I started back in June (1qt of honey, 3qts of water, and a pack of ec-1118). I made it simply because I could (i've never even drank mead before). I find that after aging even a few months it tastes incredible.

So I want to make some melomel next.

I plan on starting a 3-gallon batch, letting it ferment down like normal in the primary, then rack it into 3 separate 1-gallon jugs. In each jug I'll add a different fruit. One will be raspberries, one strawberries, and one pineapple (i'm not sure how this will taste, any advice?).

I'll probably juice the fruit before adding it, so i don't have to deal with tons of sediment. How much juice should I add to each gallon for a distinctive, but not overpowering fruit flavor?

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Old 10-28-2012, 05:38 AM   #2
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Well Ken Schramm, author of The Compleat Meadmaker
recommends (per 5 gallon batch) for medium fruit character:

Raspberries: 5-7 lbs.
Strawberries: 8-12 lbs.
As for pineapple, he doesn't mention it specifically, but pineapple is pretty high in both citric & ascorbic acids, so I'd treat it like citrus fruit: 6-8 lbs.

If you want to juice it, I'd say just juice the X lbs of fruit fruit & go with it whatever the juice amount is. You'll get more flavour with juice, so in theory you could use less fruit, but I'm not sure just how to calculate X amount of flavour from X amount of fruit juice vs X amount of sliced fruit in secondary.

Obvoiusly you might want more or less fruit flavour, depending on how much honey you want to come through. Fruit can easily overwhelm honey. BTW, you would do well to get a copy of Ken's book, it'll explain a lot of things & answer questions you haven't thought to ask yet. I have a copy on my shelf & still use it quite a bit.
Regards, GF.
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Old 10-28-2012, 09:11 AM   #3
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I like to look up a recipe for the fruit I'm intending to use and use that weight for a guide.

I prefer the more fruity taste of fruit that's been steeped in a finished mead, and no I don't usually juice or puree the fruit. It's enough to freeze it for a week, then thaw it out. That breaks down the cells in the fruit and allows the alcohol etc to get to it.

I would still use pectic enzyme as that helps with flavour and colour extraction.

Plus, if it's "stone" fruit, you can remove the stones/pits before freezing, but it it's got small pips/seeds, then just freeze/thaw after "cleaning" the fruit up.

I also stabilise the mead first (sulphite and sorbate) as I don't want any re-starting of the ferment, I want the fruit sugars to contribute to the sweetness of the batch...
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away". Tom Waits.

Oh, and here's some blog stuff!
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